This blog post was updated on July 8, 2021.
On the last Monday of May, people all over the country gather to commemorate the men and women who gave their lives to military service. For some, Memorial Day is a holiday to barbecue and be with friends and family. For others, it is a chance to score a great deal at one of the many sales going on throughout the holiday weekend. Those who truly want to honor our troops this Memorial Day can. Here are three simple ways you can truly say thank you to our troops on this Memorial Day beyond grilling hotdogs and shopping.
Attend An Event: All around the country, cities and towns feature Memorial Day events. Perhaps the biggest takes place in Washington D.C. The nation’s capital is host to the National Memorial Day Parade, the largest of its kind in the U.S. If you are in the middle of America such as Kansas City, you will find more Memorial Day events like the Memorial Day Ceremony. Taking place at the Liberty Memorial Observation Deck, the event is open to the public and this year features a performance from mezzo-soprano Tara Cooper. Those on the West Coast have a number of Memorial Day events to attend. For one of the most unusual, you can head to Palm Springs to the Palm Springs Air Museum. The museum puts on the Memorial Day Flower Drop and Air Fair. The event features 3,000 red and white carnations being dropped from a B-25 Mitchell bomber.
Visit a National Cemetery: One simple way to pay tribute to our troops on Memorial Day is by visiting a national cemetery. These spaces have become final resting places to all United States veterans. In total, there are 175 national cemeteries, soliders’ lots, government lots and Confederate cemeteries. The National Park Service manages 14 of the national cemeteries. One of the most famous is easily Arlington National Cemetery. On Memorial Day, more than a quarter million mini flags are placed on the cemetery’s headstones for a truly moving picture.
See Where Battles Were Fought: The United States is covered in battlefields, largely those attributed to the Revolutionary War, Civil War and World War II. To honor troops this Memorial Day, you can pay a visit to these spaces where U.S. history played out and lives were lost. For Revolutionary War battlefields, Bunker Hill in Boston and Stillwater in New York are popular sites to visit. In terms of the Civil War, the north and south feature countless battlefields such as Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Fort Sumter in Charleston. Other notable battlefields in the United States include the Alamo in San Antonio and Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
Photo: Matt Pasant